Upwardly Global Announces Truist Foundation Grant To Connect Immigrants To Healthcare Careers

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Working Medical Professionals

Upwardly Global receives $800,000 grant to scale alternative hiring model for immigrants and refugees in healthcare

NEW YORK — Upwardly Global, the first and longest-serving organization dedicated to rebuilding the careers of immigrants in the U.S., today announced it received an $800,000 grant from Truist Foundation to support its efforts to proactively connect internationally trained immigrant and refugee job seekers with in-demand careers in the healthcare sector.

“While our healthcare system continues to suffer from severe personnel shortages, internationally trained immigrants and refugees with healthcare expertise often lack access to those vital jobs due to relicensing barriers,” says Jina Krause-Vilmar, President and CEO of Upwardly Global. “With the help of the Truist Foundation, we are so proud to support our immigrant and refugee community’s access to careers that fulfill this critical need.”

Over the course of 2023, the expansive grant will allow Upwardly Global to further develop alternative career pathways for low-income immigrants in healthcare industry-aligned roles, building out an innovative work-based learning and “midternship” model, first piloted with NewYork-Presbyterian in late 2021. These roles serve as an “on-ramp” to healthcare careers in the U.S. and provide immigrants and refugees with stability to support their families.

The grant will support Upwardly Global in enlisting more employer partners in the healthcare sector and creating clear routes to healthcare careers, including research and medical writing pathways, for over 600 immigrant and refugee job seekers in 2023 alone. It will also support the creation of five new resources for immigrant and refugee job seekers in healthcare fields, including micro-courses and a “recruitment playbook.” 

“At Truist Foundation, we seek partners who share our vision for creating career pathways, and Upwardly Global brings this purpose to life through its hiring model for immigrant and refugee job seekers,” said Lynette Bell, president of Truist Foundation. “Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare staffing challenges have persisted in communities across the country, so we are pleased to support a mutually beneficial solution for healthcare employers and qualified immigrant and refugee job seekers.”

Over 260,000 immigrants and refugees in the U.S. have healthcare backgrounds, and yet they are too often relegated to low-wage jobs that overlook their specialized skills. These immigrant-focused resources and expanded employer model will serve as a scalable system for connecting underemployed newcomer professionals with key opportunities in high-demand healthcare jobs.


About Upwardly Global

Upwardly Global’s mission is to eliminate employment barriers for low-income immigrant and refugee professionals and to advance their inclusion into the U.S. economy. Since 2000, Upwardly Global has empowered un- or underemployed newcomers with the skills, career coaching, and social capital needed to rebuild their lives and careers. Learn more at UpwardlyGlobal.org.

About Truist Foundation

Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. Truist Foundation’s grants and activities focus on building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses. Learn more at Truist.com/Foundation.

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